According to Amanda Barden author of Baby Names Made Easy: The Complete Reverse-Dictionary of Baby Names, babies should be fun, happy occasions! You have fun choosing a nursery theme, picking out clothes and all those other little details that come with a new baby, so there's no reason you shouldn't have fun choosing the name, too. Plus, your child will love to hear the story of how he or she got her name so make it a good one!
"One of the most common complaints I hear from adults I talk to is that they hated having a name that a bunch of other kids they went to school with had, too," says Ms. Barden. "Choosing a name that's unique (but not too weird!) can eliminate this problem. Unique baby names are everywhere; you just have to keep your eyes open to find them."
15 baby naming tips
Barden offers these 15 ideas for thinking outside-the-box where baby names are concerned
Tip #1: Look at your family tree
You might find some truly unique and interesting names in your family history. This would make the name meaningful and might help you avoid names at the top of popular baby name charts.
Tip #2: Make a game of it
Make it a goal to meet three new people every day and get their names—the checker in the grocery store, the person sitting next to you on the bus, the barista blending your drink—you're bound to hear something interesting. If mom and dad both do this, it will be something fun you can do together and you'll double the number of names you add to your list.
Tip #3: Consider the landmarks around you
Look at street names, the name of your favorite restaurant (where did you go on your first date?), parks or other historic/significant locations nearby.
You may also like: Top 50 destination baby names
Tip #4: Look to nature
Do you live near the ocean? Ocean would make a unique name. Near the mountains? How about Sierra or Shasta?
Tip #5: Your love map
Look at the important places you've visited as a couple – your honeymoon spot, the place where you conceived your baby, the first place you traveled as a couple, the city or town where you met – Catalina, London, Rio, Carolina, Memphis – there's a lot of potential there.
Tip #6: Go International
If you're tired of popular names in the United States, look at names parents in other countries are using. For example, some of the popular girls' names in England in the last few years have been Evie, Summer, Millie, Freya, Imogen and Matilda.
Also check out: Exotic baby names and meanings
Tip #7: A little macabre
Head to the cemetery and check out vintage tombstones. Sometimes there are hidden gems among the dearly departed. If cemeteries aren't your thing, census records work too.
You may also like: Old fashioned baby names: Classic and cultured
Tip #8: Think about your hobbies
If you're a bird watcher, maybe your favorite bird could double as the perfect baby name – Robin, Wren or Dove would be interesting and unique.
Tip #9: Go see a Pixar film
At the end of Pixar movies they list Production Babies in the credits. There are usually some interesting names on these lists. Not sure where to start? Check out Toy Story 3.
Tip #10: Go back in time to popular names from 100 years ago
The Social Security website will tell you today's most popular names, but it will also tell you what names were popular in the past. Some of the names parents liked for boys' back in 1910 were Archie, Everett, Oscar, Otis and Henry.
Check out the top baby names of each decade here.
More baby name tips, including finding a name both you and your spouse like